Sep 19, 2021  
2016-17 BTC Catalog 
2016-17 BTC Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About Our College

About BTC

BTC History

Bellingham Technical College began in 1957, serving Whatcom County adults as Bellingham Vocational Technical Institute, and was operated by Bellingham School District. In 1991, through state legislative action, the institution was designated a member of the Washington State Community and Technical College system as Bellingham Technical College (BTC). The college is located in a district of 2,210 square miles with a population of over 193,100. The majority of students are local, with a growing number moving to the area to enroll at BTC.

About Our Students

In the 2014-2015 academic year, the college served over 5,400 students. In fall of 2014, the student body was 51% female, 49% male, with 23% minority students. The average student age was 30 years old. BTC served 2,072 full-time equivalent students.

(Data source: BTC Operational Data Store)

Accreditation Status

Bellingham Technical College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution. Inquiries regarding an institution’s accredited status by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also contact: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, 8060 165th Avenue N.E., Suite 100, Redmond, WA 98052, (425) 558-4224,

In addition to institutional accreditation, many of BTC’s programs have national certification or accreditation. These are highlighted in the program descriptions and include Culinary Arts, Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, Surgery Technology, and Veterinary Technician.

Advisory Committees

The degree and certificate programs at Bellingham Technical College rely on the involvement and support of approximately 375 business and industry employers and employees from the community. Advice and direction offered by experts in the working world ensure that students are acquiring knowledge and skills that are in demand in the workforce.

An advisory committee representing each specific professional technical field meets regularly with faculty of the same instructional area on matters of curriculum review and development, facilities and equipment, guidance and career advisement, employment opportunities and placement, plus public relations and promotional activities.

Drug-Free Workplace

BTC intends to promote a drug-free, healthful, safe, and secure work environment. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in or on property owned or controlled by Bellingham Technical College. The use of any unlawful controlled substance while in or on property owned or controlled by BTC is prohibited. No employee will report to work while under the influence of any unlawful controlled substance. A controlled substance is defined by RCW 69.50.201 through RCW 69.50.214 or pursuant to Title 21 USC Section 821 (Schedules I-IV), as now enacted or subsequently amended. Violation of this policy by any employee may result in a referral for mandatory evaluation or treatment for a substance abuse disorder. Disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from employment, may be imposed.

BTC recognizes drug dependency to be an illness and major health problem. The institution also classifies drug usage and abuse as a potential safety and security problem. Employees needing assistance in dealing with such problems are strongly encouraged to utilize the Employee Assistance Program, provided by health insurance plans, when appropriate.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Bellingham Technical College provides equal opportunity and access in education and employment and does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, color, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), gender identity or expression, citizenship status, national origin, age, marital status, religious preference, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, reliance on public assistance, sexual orientation, veteran status, or genetic information under any of its programs, activities and services. The College complies with all Washington State anti-discrimination laws (RCW 49.60) and the following federal laws relating to equal opportunity: Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination, equal opportunity, affirmative action or the ADA policies: Executive Director of Human Resources, 3028 Lindbergh Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225, 360.752.8354. For Title IX/504 compliance, contact: Vice President of Student Services, 3028 Lindbergh Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225, 360.752.8440.

BTC publications are available in alternate formats upon request by contacting the Accessibility Resources office at 360.752.8576.

2013-2018 Strategic Plan


Bellingham Technical College will be a recognized leader in providing innovative and effective technical education, maximizing student potential and supporting the regional economy through development of a competitive workforce.


Bellingham Technical College provides student-centered, high-quality professional technical education for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities.

Core Themes

Student Success & Access
Continuous Improvement
College Visibility with Strong Community, Business, & Industry Relations


STUDENT SUCCESS Facilitate student success through practices, structure, and policies.
EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION Promote excellence and innovation throughout the college.
ACCESS Increase options and improve access for all students through educational pathways.
Strengthen the visibility and support of the college locally, regionally, and nationally.
Create and maintain a welcoming campus that supports diversity, promotes a sense of community, provides an effective work and learning environment, and encourages respect for individuals.


As a learning community, Bellingham Technical College is committed to educational excellence and equity realized through a positive, values-based campus environment. To fulfill BTC’s mission and vision, the college will adhere to the following values:

STUDENT-CENTERED Creating a supportive and inclusive community that results in a high level of student competence, professionalism, and success.
RESPONSIVE Embracing positive, effective change that creates opportunity and meets current and emerging needs.
COLLABORATIVE Creating and leveraging partnerships and resources to achieve shared values and goals for students, the college, and the community.
PRINCIPLED Promoting a culture of respect and accountability, reflecting integrity in decision-making, and ensuring responsible stewardship of all resources.

Bellingham Technical College Foundation

The Bellingham Technical College Foundation’s mission is to change lives by expanding access to quality education.

The Foundation Board of Directors and staff forward this mission by partnering with individuals, businesses, alumni, grant-making institutions, and other community organizations.

Established in 1987 as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, the Bellingham Technical College Foundation is governed by a volunteer board of directors. Early on, the foundation’s primary function was to serve as a conduit for scholarship awards and gifts of in-kind equipment. Since the first staff was hired in 1997, the BTC Foundation has played an increasingly important role in enhancing student success and helping Bellingham Technical College reach its goals.

The Foundation Board has set ambitious three-year fundraising goals (2014- 2017), including the commitment to raise:

  • $900,000 to support scholarships for BTC students;
  • $150,000 in direct support of BTC programs;
  • $410,000 to support the foundation’s “Greatest Need” fund, which supports a variety of initiatives, including: emergency grants, professional development, and the BTC Food Pantry.

There are many ways to support BTC through the foundation, including: making an annual or named scholarship donation, establishing an endowed scholarship through the foundation, donating gifts of stock or other assets, making a pledged gift over time, or donating equipment to support our college’s programs. If you or someone you know would like to support the BTC Foundation’s mission, you may do so online at, or by calling us at 360.752.8684. We are happy to assist you in any way possible.

BTC transforms lives. The BTC Foundation is privileged to be able to work on behalf of the college and to champion student success. The foundation is located on the second floor of the Morse Center Building (rooms 201-203).

Bellingham Technical College Foundation
3028 Lindbergh Ave Bellingham, WA 98225


The BTC Foundation awards more than $200,000 in scholarships each year to an average of 50% of the students who apply. The scholarship application is available online at the beginning of the spring quarter with the application deadline typically on or around June 30th.

Learn more at

College Calendar 2016-2017

Summer Quarter 2016  
Fall BTC Classes Begin Sept 20  
Independence Day Holiday Jul 4  
Summer BTC Classes Begin Jul 5  
Summer Last Day for 100% Refund **    
  – 6 week course Jul 7  
  – 8 week course Jul 8  
Summer Last Day to Drop without a W on transcript ***    
  – 6 week course Jul 12  
  – 8 week course Jul 15  
Summer Last Day for 50% Refund **    
  – 6 week course Jul 18  
  – 8 week course Jul 23  
Fall Quarterly Schedule Available Jul 21  
Fall General Registration Begins 8:00 am Jul 25  
Summer Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule ***    
  – 6 week course Aug 2  
Summer Residency & Waiver Request Deadline Aug 4  
Summer Instructor Briefcase Opens for Grading Aug 4  
Summer Quarter Ends    
  – 6 week course Aug 11  
Summer Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule ***    
  – 8 week course Aug 17  
Fall Tuition & Fees Due * Aug 23  
Summer Quarter Ends    
  – 8 week course Aug 25  
Summer Grades Final – Check Your Transcript Aug 30  
Labor Day Holiday Sept 5  
Fall Quarter 2016  
Fall BTC Classes Begin Sept 20  
Fall Last Day for 100% Refund ** Sept 26  
Fall Last Day to Drop without a W on transcript *** Oct 3  
Fall Last Day for 50% Refund ** Oct 10  
Fall Residency & Waiver Request Deadline Oct 19  
Faculty In-service Day (no daytime program classes) Oct 31  
Winter Registration Access Times Available Nov 1  
Winter Class Information Available Online Nov 1  
Winter Continuing Program Student Registration Begins Nov 7  
Veterans Day Holiday Nov 11  
Winter New Program Student Registration Begins Nov 14  
Winter Continuing Parenting Registration Begins Nov 16  
Fall Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule *** Nov 17  
Winter Quarterly Schedule Available Nov 21  
Fall Instructor Briefcase Opens for Grading Nov 23  
Thanksgiving Holiday Nov 24-25  
Winter General Registration Begins 8:00 am Nov 28  
Winter Tuition & Fees Due * Dec 1  
Fall Quarter Ends Dec 9  
Fall Grades Final – Check Your Transcript Dec 14  
Winter Holiday Dec 23-26  
Winter Break Dec 12 - Jan 3  
Winter Quarter 2017    
Spring New Year’s Day Holiday Jan 2  
Winter BTC Classes Begin Jan 4  
Winter Last Day for 100% Refund * Jan 10  
Martin Luther King Day Holiday Jan 16  
Winter Last Day to Drop without a W on transcript *** Jan 18  
Winter Last Day for 50% Refund ** Jan 24  
Winter Residency & Waiver Request Deadline Feb 3  
Spring Registration Access Times Available Feb 13  
Spring Class Information Available Online Feb 13  
Presidents Day Holiday Feb 20  
Spring Continuing Program Student Registration Begins Feb 21  
Spring New Program Student Registration Begins Feb 27  
Spring Quarterly Schedule Available Mar 1  
Spring Continuing Parenting Registration Begins Mar 1  
Winter Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule *** Mar 2  
Spring General Registration Begins 8:00 am Mar 6  
Winter Instructor Briefcase Opens for Grading Mar 9  
Spring Tuition & Fees Due * Mar 16  
Winter Quarter Ends Mar 23  
Winter Grades Final – Check Your Transcript Mar 28  
Spring Break Mar 24-Apr 3  
Spring Quarter 2017  
Spring BTC Classes Begin Apr 4  
Spring Last Day for 100% Refund ** Apr 10  
Spring Last Day to Drop without a W on transcript *** Apr 17  
Spring Last Day for 50% Refund ** Apr 24  
Spring Residency & Waiver Request Deadline May 3  
Summer & Fall Registration Access Times Available May 15  
Summer & Fall Class Information Available Online May 15  
Summer & Fall Continuing Student Registration Begins May 22  
Spring Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule *** May 25  
Memorial Day Holiday May 29  
Summer & Fall New Student Registration Begins May 30  
Summer Quarterly Schedule Available Jun 1  
Spring Instructor Briefcase Opens for Grading Jun 1  
Summer General Registration Begins 8:00 am Jun 5  
Summer Tuition & Fees Due * Jun 8  
Spring Quarter Ends Jun 20  
Commencement Ceremony Jun 20  
Spring Grades Final – Check Your Transcript Jun 23  

* If registering after Tuition & Fee Due Date, payment is due within 48 hours. After quarter start, payment is due within 24 hours.
** Published Refund dates are for full-quarter length classes. Shorter classes are pro-rated. Please see the Refund Policy.
*** Published Drop & Withdrawal dates are for full-quarter length classes. Dates vary for classes with alternative schedules.

College Calendar - subject to change.
Visit us on the web at


Bellingham Technical College reserves the option to amend, modify, or revise any provision of this catalog and its programs for any reason, including but not limited to:

  • A lack of funds to operate a program or course
  • Unavailability of faculty
  • A change in administrative or Board of Trustees policy
  • A change in laws, rules, or regulations of the State of Washington which governs the operation of technical colleges.

BTC Map & Directions to Campus

How to Find our Campus

From I-5: Take Exit 258 (airport exit). Follow the signs - left off the exit, left onto Bennett Drive, left onto Marine Drive, left onto Lindbergh Ave. For College Services Bldg., turn left onto Nome St.

From Downtown Bellingham: Follow Holly St. to Eldridge Ave. After the stone bridge (watch for sign), turn right onto Nequalicum Ave. For College Services Bldg., go straight onto Nome St.

From Guide Meridian: At the south end of Guide Meridian, turn right on Broadway. Right onto Eldridge Ave. After the stone bridge, turn right onto Nequalicum Ave. For College Services Bldg., go straight onto Nome St.

BTC Campus Map  

A Literacy Council, Transitional Studies/Basic Education for Adults
B Electrician, Machining, Industrial Maintenance& Mechatronics
C Dental Assisting & Dental Hygiene, Dental Clinic
CC Campus Center Campus Store, Business Courses, Cafe Culinaire, Culinary Arts, Computer Networking, Common Grounds Coffee Shop, Library, Student Center
CS College Services Bldg. Student Services, Administration, Human Resources, Cashier
DMC Desmond McArdle Center Instrumentation & Control Technology, Process Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology
G Lindbergh Avenue Deli & Grill and Café Culinaire to go window (Spring Quarter)
H Assessment Center, Health Sciences, Nursing Skills and Simulation Lab, Continuing Ed, Tutoring Center
HC Haskell Center Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Surgery Technology, Sciences
J Engineering Technology, Civil Engineering, Geomatics (formerly Surveying & Mapping), Mechanical Design
K Facilities
M Automotive Technology
MC Morse Center Welding, Auto Collision, Foundation
R Veterinary Technician
T Diesel Technology
Y Family Learning Center

Off Campus location: Technology Development Center (TDC), 1000 F Street, Bellingham: Composites Engineering

Instructional sites are easily accessible to students using wheelchairs or crutches. Building M is not barrier-free. Disabled students who wish to take a class at a site which does not accommodate their disability should contact Accessibility Resources at 360-752-8345 or